Use Permit Application No. PLN2023-0039 – MD Digester


SCH Number
Lead Agency
Stanislaus County
Document Title
Use Permit Application No. PLN2023-0039 – MD Digester
Document Type
CON - Early Consultation
Present Land Use
Dairy facility, and residential uses and accessory structures / General Agriculture with a 40-acre minimum (A-2-40) / Agriculture.
Document Description
Request to operate a methane digester on a 482.4± acre parcel located in the General Agriculture (A-2-40) zoning district. The methane digestor will process dairy waste produced from the on-site dairy and from an off-site dairy located just west of the project site (APN: 002-003-024), which will be piped in a slurry form via underground pipeline located across private property. As part of this request, the following improvements and structures will be developed on the project site: a 1.3± acre digester and associated equipment; a livestock water recycling system; biogas upgrading equipment; three natural gas generators; a backup/emergency flare; fire suppression water supply tank; and a 360± square-foot office, and a 1,500± square-foot shop. No new structures are proposed to be installed on the off-site dairy. No expansion of existing herd sizes will occur as a result of this project on either of the dairies. The dairy waste slurry will be processed through the digester and associated equipment by a gas collection and water filtration system to convert greenhouse gases (GHG) to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), which will be trucked off-site via a heavy-duty truck. The dairy waste slurry from the off-site dairy (APN: 002-003-024) to the west of the project site will be pumped to the digester site via a private underground pipeline not within the County right-of-way. Slurry coming out of the digester will be piped back to each respective dairy pursuant to the quantities listed under each dairies’ current wastewater management plan (WMP); no net increase of wastewater will be applied to any of the dairies. Manure solids will be filtered out and used for normal dairy operations including bedding and crop fertilizer at each dairy. The project site is currently improved with a dairy facility, residential, and accessory structures totaling 650,506± square feet of building space consisting of four milk barns, a commodity barn, a bunker silo, three free stall barns, a heifer/maternity barn, a hospital and horse barn, a carport, three agricultural storage buildings, three cattle shades, three single-family dwellings, a swimming pool, and one duplex with a garage. The South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID) Canal and Howell Lateral cross the project site from north to south, and the Fairbanks Lateral and Leitch Lateral cross from east to west on the project site. The digester will operate 24 hours a day/seven days a week. A maximum of three employees are anticipated on-site five days a week, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The third employee will be on-site as needed throughout the week during the same proposed hours of operation. The applicant anticipates up to three roundtrips per day for trucks transporting RNG off-site to an existing pipeline connection in Helm, California where it will then be compressed and used as natural gas for fueling vehicles. Two heavy-duty truck trips per week are expected for system maintenance and refueling the natural gas generators to be installed on-site. The project site is currently served by private well and septic systems. The project site has existing access from County-maintained Dodds Road.

Contact Information

Emily DeAnda
Agency Name
Stanislaus County
Job Title
Assistant Planner
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Valley Home Community
Citywide, Countywide
Cross Streets
26 Mile Road and Valley Home Road
Total Acres
Parcel #
Oakdale Joint Unified
Woodward Reservoir, South San Joaquin Irrigation District Canal, Leitch Lateral, Howell Lateral

Notice of Completion

State Review Period Start
State Review Period End
State Reviewing Agencies
California Air Resources Board (ARB), California Department of Conservation (DOC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Region 4 (CDFW), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, North Central Region 2 (CDFW), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Transportation, District 10 (DOT), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Energy Commission, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), California Natural Resources Agency, California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Department of Toxic Substances Control, Office of Historic Preservation, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, District 10, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Sacramento Region 5 (RWQCB)
State Reviewing Agency Comments
California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Sacramento Region 5 (RWQCB)
Development Types
Other (Agriculture Dairy Digester Hub)
Local Actions
Use Permit
Project Issues
Local Review Period Start
Local Review Period End


Draft Environmental Document [Draft IS, NOI_NOA_Public notices, OPR Summary Form, Appx,]
Notice of Completion [NOC] Transmittal form
State Comment Letters [Comments from state reviewing agencies]

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. To obtain an attachment in a different format, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at or via phone at (916) 445-0613. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

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